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Messages - Vivek

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How I can understand it sir:

The existence of an object is ascertained by the knowledge of its existence.

Our knowledge of it establishes merely the fact that it exists, but it doesn't establish it's existence itself.

If we consider this case: A boy lives in a jungle, nobody has seen him. 60 years in the future adventurers see him.

Is his existence established by the adventurers? No. But the knowledge of his existence (fact that he exists) is ascertained by them. But his existence per se was established when he was born. Similarly a prehistoric painting in a deep earlier, cave that has not been accessed.

Discussions on Vedanta / Re: Punarjanma - Rebirth
« on: July 17, 2015, 08:07:45 PM »
Sadananda :

I have read Advaita many times, but it's hard to understand or be convinced that essentially everything is Brahman. It is not discussing these for the sake of it. But what causes us to have ego-centric karmas in the first place when we are born? What is the life thing (if I can call it that)?

Consider this :A dead body and a body that is alive - both have the same organs, blood, nerves, vessels, muscles, bones etc. Why is one alive, while one dead? When the person died, he died of asphyxiation (say). The dead body is Brahman and the alive body is also Brahman.

They are composed of the same things, and the dead body also essentially has healthy organs, but it's dead because it didn't have air for few minutes. So if both are composed of the same things, and they are both Brahman, then why the difference between the two?

What gives the alive body, it's life, thinking, emotions, intellect, consciousness?

Discussions on Vedanta / Re: Punarjanma - Rebirth
« on: June 11, 2015, 10:20:27 PM »
Hi Sadananda,

If nothing dies and nothing is born, what comes out the womb of a woman? What decays into the earth? It can't be only a body of carbohydrates, protein, fat etc. So what seems to leave it and what enters it?

I understand that of a realized person there is no distinction. Now, if I am playing with a clay, I would first create a ring with it, and then create a bowl. I know that these are all the clay which can take any form, yet when I speak of it I will say they are the bowl and ring etc.

So speaking of things in that manner, can you explain by what method does the rebirth happen? Or does one become a ghost?

I understand it this way: That one is born with a experience impression (a signature of sorts). The experience impression is the property of a body, so when brought to life, it exists in an appropriate body. One born, the being experiences life and gathers more experience impressions, based on those experience impressions, it is born into another body and this process continues.

But is there a principle to this. Like if someone desires to be rich and they put effort to become rich, they may gather some money in life and start thinking like a business man. And at death if they desire it more, they will be born into an exact body that naturally exhibits the nature/characteristics to make money, be business minded?

In short: Does it work like a continuation of our tendencies, characteristics during death, so that we are born in a more appropriate body to complete our desired tasks? I edited this to make it clear.

Thank you.



I am visiting the forum after a long time. So, in this discussion do we all agree that perception and reality in itself are two different things? 

That is, all these are true :

1. Something exist, but we perceive it doesn't or can't be certain that it does.  (eg. ghosts if they don't come to attention to our perception, chair in a dark room)
2. Something exists, and we perceive it exists. (this computer, food etc)
3. Something doesn't exist, and we perceive it doesn't exist or can't be certain it does (eg. triangle with four sides, circle with edges)
4. Something doesn't exist, and we perceive it exists. (mirage as a lake)

Would this be accurate or incorrect?

Discussions on Vedanta / Re: Maya and Brahman
« on: October 29, 2011, 03:55:35 PM »
I am still a little confused on how Brahman can be ignorant (apparently or actually) - because even while the man was ignorant, he was still Brahman, right? So essentially didn't Brahman display ignorance? How is that possible? 

This thread has gone long, and I still have question which are probably repeatetive - so maybe its a better idea for me to read more on the philosophy before I continue in this thread and possibly make you repeat yourself. I couldn't find the audio of the Kenopanishad in the site.


Discussions on Vedanta / Re: Advaita and Science
« on: October 29, 2011, 03:33:04 PM »
"but do not quote me since I am not qualified to make any statements."

I am looking for your opinion though. After all, how would one know WHO is qualified in this field? If one says he is an aeronautical engineer, I can test him. If he creates an aeroplane with raw materials and man-power help - he is an aeronautical engineer. But what is the test of a realized one? Who has passed this test in present day? Have even the Shankaracharyas?

"Kamalakiran Vijamuri you can look up for him in Yu-tube as violin player making his name at very young age - He is 11-12yrs age now"

Nice to know there is such talent from your family sir :-)

"In essence in vyavahaara, Vedic influence is there and sciences must have been developed by the great aachaaryas. But in the final analysis, all these are mithyaa only. It is useful for transactional knowledge but not for absolute knowledge. "

I understand you say you are not qualified to answer this. What I wanted to know is if you have an idea of the scientific study methods used by those acharyas.

Beacause I think method is more important than the knowledge itself. If one understands doing bussiness, they can make money. But borrowing money (even in lakhs) will only keep one sustained temporarily. Its like fishing for someone, and teaching them to fish. The latter is superior in its benefit to them. Likewise, regarding the knowledge of the acharyas. If that remains unknown to anyone here or out of the scope of this forum's discussions, I will not ask again.


Discussions on Vedanta / Re: One more litmus test for self-realization
« on: October 25, 2011, 06:58:54 PM »
Since the post above speaks of the chemical effects an important point of discussion comes to my mind.

In regular state of emotions, is it the emotion which brings about the secretion of chemicals, activation and deactivation of brain parts or do these bring about the emotions? Either ways, we can control the emotions of a being (even a person I guess) by the chemicals and activation and deactivation of brain parts. An example of such an experiment even exists in the modern world - José Delgado's experimented by placing an electronic chip in a Bull's brain and controlling it through remote. The chip was connected to the proper area in the brain. When the chip's function was activated through the remote contoller, its anger instantly came down.

Certainly then, the "material" (better word physical) substances like electrical impulses, or chemicals can be used to control emotions. This is the same way people have drugs and experience things, or through alcohol or different foods. Even our very birth in different bodies (animal, human, male, female etc) are material affecting the emotional state. A Tiger with the brain of a man will function differently, a man with a brain of a tiger also. Likewise, hormonal and slightly anatomical differences exist between men and women itself and reflects in different behaviour or tedencies. Though possibly, a large part is also built by environment's expectations subconsciously imbibed in childhood.

But in conclusion, if we are to speak of the most subtle element, would it matter if the chemical makeup of a realized man was altered experimentally? If an "anger chemical" was pumped in, or the "upset region" activated? Should his mental state change? It shouldn't.

Dr. Sadananda, is the rhetorical question you posted on the cause-effect related to this? Could you explain?


Discussions on Vedanta / Re: One more litmus test for self-realization
« on: October 25, 2011, 06:50:25 PM »
"when he touched it he was not burned and the King not only released him but honored him for his honesty compensating him for his troubles. Now one can try this test, if any one thinks he has realized - but do not force your teacher to take the test!"

hahaha!! :-D

Discussions on Vedanta / Re: Maya and Brahman
« on: October 25, 2011, 06:28:02 PM »
"Jones example is for him to know who he is as a fact not as a postulate. He is a man and never a rat. The application of Jones example ends there."

Okay, so I can't impose the logic of an analogy. Sorry if I am asking too many questions, I am trying to understand. I will go through the thread on fundamental ignorance also.

But my question is: What is the ignorance of not being Brahman seen as in retrospect after one attains the paramaarthikaa anubava? Is it seen as ignorance at all, or is the word ignorance only for the sake of discussion/discourse in the vyavaharika perspective?

Discussions on Vedanta / Re: Advaita and Science
« on: October 25, 2011, 06:06:56 PM »
Is it still possible for one learned in the Vedas to channel his mind into understanding (say) gravitational force, its nature so that he can explain it to the world in the "mechanical engineering" perspective (ie. with mathematical equations etc)?

Hope, I don't look like I am repeating. But sir, regarding science I actually wanted to know if Hindu philosophers or scienists had a method of scientific inquiry to produce something new (technology).

Today, we price Ayurveda as a great scientific accomplishment of India's past. It is indeed, but we are still speaking of something made thousands of years ago - we have probably preserved most part of the method of implimentation, but have we preserved the method of inquiry which was used to attain that knowledge? Its like someone doing copy-paste work of the conclusion of another's detailed study. The copy-paster can't replicate much, if he hasn't understood HOW that knowledge was attained.

So in short, did thinkers of the past have a method of scientific inquiry into the nature of a phenomenon or the properties of a material which was different than conventional method today? ie. experimenting-observing-creating a model (like standard model in partical physics), then again repeating till accuracy in observated data is consistently met with the model's data.

Discussions on Vedanta / Re: Advaita and Science
« on: October 24, 2011, 10:17:18 AM »
"Vivek to answer directly – no relevance. But to tell you frankly, it is only with Vedantic understanding one can work diligently even outside without the ego coming into picture."

I think I understand. Correct my interpretation below if its incorrect:

Vedanta (and Vedas too?) doesn't contain knowledge of anything by itself, but fashions the mind to pursue what is necessary in the right manner.  And in that case, it is possible to channelize the mind after understanding Vedanta to sciences and any other fields. Would that be correct?


Discussions on Vedanta / Re: Maya and Brahman
« on: October 24, 2011, 10:08:22 AM »

SADA: "Only when I get up and identify with the BMI pain in BMI becomes my pain. This is called error of superimposition or adhyaasa where I superimpose the properties of this (body) and this (mind) and this (intellect) which are all object of my knowledge, on to myself who is the subject."

VIVEK: What is the philosophical reason that we naturally identify with the BMI with no effort? A child born without any knowledge feels pain inflicted on it when the nerves are developed. Regarding the snake and the rope - your explaination is fine for a rope which is seen as a snake. But what if its a snake being seen as a rope? (in analogy). That is equanimity in pain at present leads to something worse later (without our knowledge)?

Psychological repulsion to having "pain" is for a reason (to prevent further damage). So can't equanimity of mind ("seeing the rope") in face of a pain ("snake"), be hamrful? Just as placing my hand on a hot stove. If I bare it with equianimity, feel it but don't interpret it as pain and continue to place it there - the functionality of my hand may get damaged, which would upsetting to me later on.

SADA: "Even in the waking state, the departure for near and dear cause emotional pain but with time mind slowly forgets these. All these imply that these are just mental states due to attachments. They affect depending on the maturity of the individual, is it not. Some are more attached and some are detached as we see."

VIVEK: Then where lies the difference between a person numbed by any emotions to others and a self-realized one? By seeing dying, poor people, some may not have any frequency of being perturbed (F), nor an intensity (I), and thus has nothing to recover (R) from. 

SADA: "Mr. Jone is not theoretically but factually is a man. Similarly Vedanta says not theoretically but factually I am sat chit aananda swaruupa and due to misconceptions takes myself to be this BMI as Mr. Jones does that he is a rat. He is or was never a rat even when he is thinking that he is a rat. Similarly I am never this where this is object and I am always a subject – a conscious entity. The Jones example is to illustrate the fact that once I understand my true nature clearly, there should not be any more misunderstanding of who I am."

VIVEK: (This is with respect to the fact that we are Brahman according to Vedanta)

Mr. Jones case of ignorance is acceptable because to err is human. So, a human may err and believe himself to be a rat. After realizing he is a man and not a rat, it doesn't change the fact that he did error earlier and that error was possible because he was a man. But how can I be Brahman, and realize this fact later when Brahman never errors?


Discussions on Vedanta / Re: Maya and Brahman
« on: October 16, 2011, 07:27:13 AM »

SADA: "To understand this only we need to learn the scriptures properly and hence my previous recommendations."

VIVEK: Yes, it would be a good idea for me to read more on this if I wish to understand the point. I was thinking of getting Vivekachudamini which speaks about discrimination.

I have tried to limit my questions. Sadanand sir, could you tell me if it will be a good idea for me to read Vivekachudamini to understand this idea of discrimination?

I have read the Bhagvad Gita (maybe I should get a teacher), and I interpretted Krishna's words of "They are in me, but I am not in them" in relation to this line "Many lives of yours as well as mine have passed Arjuna, I know them all, but you know them not" as follows: That Krishna has actually through countless lives, lived through the emotions of all beings and humans like the Pandavas as well as their enemies, through many previous lives before realization. And thus says that they are in him (because their emotions have dwelt in him), and he also has understanding of their many emotions - "I know them all (lives)". Would this be correct? And is this the mind of one who has attained paramaarthika anubhava?


SADA: "The falsity of this waking world is recognized when I have the required viveka. That is what self-realization means to recognize the world is mityaa or apparently real but not really real."

VIVEK: The dream analogy I understand. But can I ask: Why do we all consider "this world" somehow real and take things seriously? Do we ought not to sir? Because actions here have consequences which don't happen in a dream.

(1) In a dream, if I jump off a 2 storey building and fracture my limbs, I wake up in my bed with no pain, but in this world, doing the same, I will wake up in a bed (again) - but in hospital with the excruciating PAIN of it. Isn't that why we can't consider this a drama?

A simulated reality (like a lucid dream) can be indistinguishable from a (so-called) "real" reality. But the aspect that a feeling of pain (due to a consequence of action/inaction) is what makes it to be taken more real than say a dream.

Though ephemeral, isn't the reality of the emotions occured in a dream valid for the time it had effect? If a dinosaur is chasing me in a lucid dream and I am running away in fear, I may be sweating in the bed I am sleeping on. I wake up, the dinosaur is no more, but the fear experienced - was it real? Even if not permanent, does it not have validity at the point when it happened?

(2) Taking the rope snake analogy itself - a scientist again knows that the rope and snake are again essentially the same and just made of atoms. Yet there is a valid reason for him to fear the snake, because of a consequence of its existence near him (ie. he may get bit, die in pain etc.)

(3) In relation to the millionaire actor playing a beggar: Its true what you say, ideally we can do things better as we keep a composure even in a tense situation and act beautifully without being affected. But this is possible only as long as the actor playing the beggar is not affected as a real beggar is (with feeling of deep hunger, diseases, infestations etc), he is okay with the "role". Does it become possible to behave the same way if he was affected with the pains of a beggar? Like the difference between falling off a height in a dream and in this world.

In Mr. Jones' case he theoretcially understands he is a man, but still fears the cat. If he doesn't he MAY face up with consequences of being attacked by a cat. In some cases, such fears are crossed without pain occuring (like fearing a cat, or getting into water), after its done, its fine. But in some cases, by taking the leap (if I can say) by facing the fear, one may end up with injuries, pain-for-life etc.

So would I be right in saying fear exists for a projected consequence, which may not happen, but it may also? In the light of these cases (1), (2) and (3), how can they be called mithya?


Discussions on Vedanta / Re: Maya and Brahman
« on: October 10, 2011, 09:45:31 AM »

SADA: "At transactional level or vyaavahaara apples are different from rocks and food is different from garbage. I can discriminate at transactional level while recognizing that substantially they are one."

VIVEK: While scientist (and the world too) agree that garbage and food are essentially made of protons, neutrons and electrons there is difference in the structure of how they are arranged.

So there is a difference of some sort. If not in the TYPE of particles they are made of, there is difference in the NUMBERS of protons, neutrons and electon each atom constitutes and their STRUCTURE (way they are arranged).

So the difference is essentially more like that between a gold ring and a gold bar. Though composition may be same, the difference in structure reflects in difference in functionality. One can't wear a gold bar in the finger. If we are saying they are fundamentally the same, we are only considering the type of composition, not structure and the amount of the composition, which gives it a different functionality all together.

Carbon atoms and Oxygen atoms, both have protons, neutrons and electrons. But the numbers and the structure in which they are arranged are different, which is what makes them different. So aren't they still essentially different, though made of the same things? Why is the structure of it not considered when we say they are same? Because its the structure which makes it different ultimately (1)


SADA: "Same way jiivanmukta since BMI which has formed due to past praarabda still remains, he does perceive the pluralistic world or transactional world, but he knows know that there is no reality to it."

VIVEK: Isn't there a reality to the difference in their structure? If there is no reality to an apple being an apple, what sense exists in treating it an apple? It can be used for anything else also. I don't mean to sound like I am not paying attention to you or I am replying for the sake of it, but I can't understand how there is no reality to it.


SADA:"As long as BMI is there, the eyes see, the mind thinks and all that but he also understands that everything is mithyaa only. He is not perturbed by anything and he is happy by himself - although he plays the drama of life. It is like an actor playing the role of drama. He lives in the role but he knows the role’s problems are not his problems."

VIVEK: What exactly is BMI? But I think I understood. Basically the event doesn't matter, but how it affects our psyche is what is important, is that correct? And a self-realized person is not perturbed by anything, he only plays his role/duty in life, irrespective of the fruit he may or may not gain. Is that right?


SADA: "If we understand that I am Brahman not as a concept but as a fact, then the above question does not arise. When there is only Brahman there are not apparent or real limitations in Brahman. All questions cease. "

VIVEK: Okay. I am Brahman. How then am I/did I having these apparent or real limitations as of now/before? How can the Jiva be apparently different from Brahman?

The rope-snake analogy is what Dr. P. Sankaranarayanan has used in the book I was reading too, in the first few pages.

But if we are feeling this delusion, we can't be Brahman which is limitless, isn't it? Advaita doesn't even say we are reaching or attaining Brahman, it says we ARE Brahman. Where does the limitation (apparent or real) come from to us then if we ARE it? (2)

I hope I am not wasting your time going in circles, but to be honest I haven't understood. Our true nature may be Brahman, but it has to be something else - that which we later shed upon attaining self-realization, that which caused the ignorance earlier. How can we be having apparent delusions/ignorances and yet be identical with Brahman which doesn't have any delusions? (3)


SADA: "As Krishna says - they are all in Me but I am not in them - Gold saying all ornaments are in Me but I am not in them in the sense their births, deaths, sufferings etc do not belong to me - they belong to only to the transactional reality - rings, bangles, bracelets etc. which have date of birth, death of death, suffering in between - But as Gold I am ever gold before as pure lump now in these verities of names and forms."

VIVEK: Well explained sir :-) Right now, I have three main queries marked (1), (2) and (3) from the philosophical point of view of understanding this.

The audio files are not of short length, and there are many in your site. Is it necessary for one to listen to them in order, or if there is any in particular audio which explains the matter of these queries, please post me the link. I will listen to it to understand better.


Discussions on Vedanta / Re: Advaita and Science
« on: October 10, 2011, 09:28:06 AM »
"Implication of pramANa means specificity - It is useless to use Vedanta for objective knowledge and similarly objective sciences for the understanding of subject I, the self as their fields of operations are fixed."

So this means that neither Vedas, nor Vedanta can be used for science and technology? Let me clarify if that is what you are pointing sir.

"But Vedanta also says, understanding the subject-object duality and their underlying truth is the highest knowledge. The reasons is any objective knowledge makes one more ignorant - because the more one knows, he learns that there is lot more things he needs to know which he did not know before. Hence one becomes super specialist of narrower and narrower area in any field of research"

Sir, what is the meaning of a knowledge being higher? This entire query of mine (whether Vedanta/Vedas can be used for science and technology) is for raising our country/civilization to a developed state and face its challenges (which may include foreign invasions too).

Vedanata, Yoga - the "inner sciences" are indeed good and necessary for health, mind etc. But we need a method to even develop "outer sciences" (about medicines, weapons etc). Because like any civilizations which is abundant and in the cross-roads of civilization, we constantly face the threat of being invaded, attacked etc (which was what Rajan's rhetoric question to me was). To prevent this we should have such knowledge of matter, energy, etc - just as US, or European nations, China etc. Today we are poor, and not that technologically advanced. Say a useful mineral or natural resource is found in India which finds its place in a new technology. Won't other nations try and invade us by giving pretexts of saving us from "tyrannical government", or "human right violators"? Civilizations which are more advanced in science technology have an edge over those that aren't. Africans were easily invaded by the Europeans. After that, blaming the European colonialism (today) or invasion is of no use, post-invasion nations face poverty, and difficulties while people in Europe/US America etc. live happy. I am not trying to by cynical or pessimistic, I hope this is not coming to you like that. But I feel its a fact.

So what is the relevance of Vedas (or Vedanta) in this sort of mundane difficulty? Their relevance in avoiding famine, drought, poverty etc? If "Vedas" is knowledge, is worldly or scientific knowledge excluded from the context?

This is what I wanted to understand. I thought Advaita and science is the right place to post this in. I am looking for your HO in this matter sir.


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